Bristol Mayor's Task Force to recognize World AIDS Day

Published on Friday, 26 November 2021 15:42
Written by Dean Wright


BRISTOL – On Dec. 1, the Bristol Mayor’s Task Force on HIV, AIDS and HCV is slated to recognize World AIDS Day in front of City Hall at 5:30 p.m.

Task force members are anticipated to speak along with Bristol Mayor Jeff Caggiano. Individuals participating will be invited to hold a red ribbon to speak in remembrance of those affected, infected or who have died from HIV and AIDS.

“HIV is still around and we still have people who are transmitting it and people getting infected and it’s important to get the message out that there is prevention and treatment,” said task force member Laura Minor. “If you are preventing and treating HIV, it’s linked to other sexually transmitted diseases like hepatitis and diseases transmitted by sharing a needles. It’s part of a much bigger picture.”

Minor stressed the importance of having compassion for those struggling with such diseases.

“We have to remember those living with this every day and those who have lost someone to these diseases,” said Minor. “We should have learned a lot of lessons in the 1980s when we first started dealing with this virus which we should be practicing today. We learned about transmission and health education and those are the same things we are trying to do today with covid, just with a different disease… It’s about prevention and helping people to change behaviors.”

Red ribbons will also be distributed to patients and clients at Bristol Hospital, Community Health Center, Wheeler health and Root Center.

According to task force information, as of 2019, 220 new cases of HIV were found in Connecticut residents. Over 10,700 people are living with HIV in the state and over 100 individuals are living with it in the Bristol area.

Improved medications help individuals with HIV live longer lives and with lower virus counts if the condition is treated early and appropriately. Also, preventative medication helps reduce risk chances of infection in others.

The Bristol Mayor’s Task Force on AIDS, HIV and HCV was started in 1991. The organization continues to provide educational programs and outreach in the hopes of spreading awareness and resources to area residents struggling with these diseases around their lives.

Those looking for more information can visit the Bristol City Hall webpage and attend monthly meetings or view task force projects through the organization’s Facebook page.

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Friday, 26 November 2021 15:42. Updated: Friday, 26 November 2021 15:44.